Waitara, New Zealand

Petralgas Chemical Methanol Facility - EPC

Fluor performed engineering, procurement, and construction management support for Petralgas's grass roots, 1,200-metric T/D methanol plant in Waitara, New Zealand.

Fluor also participated in front-end optimization studies, developed computer simulations, and was responsible for all equipment data sheets for all onsite systems, as well as many offsite systems.

Client's Challenge

Petralgas Chemicals N.Z. Limited wanted to build a grassroots chemical methanol facility in New Zealand.

The country's complex seismic design code would have to be followed before any project commenced.

The major components of the new methanol facility included units for reforming, compression, synthesis and distillation, plus utilities and offsites.

Fluor's Solution

Fluor executed the project for Petralgas subsequent to Fluor's work on a similar methanol plant for Alberta Gas Chemicals in Canada.

Because of Fluor's experience on the project in Canada, the company was able to use dual process teams to prepare mechanical flow diagrams and equipment datasheets. By using this approach, Fluor was able to reduce the time span for these activities by about 40 percent.

Fluor also demonstrated its ability to work within the prescribed financing agreements. To take full advantage of available financing while maximizing New Zealand industrial benefits, Fluor split purchase orders for some components. The reformer order, for example, was divided among vendors in New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and Great Britain.

New Zealand's complex seismic design codes also posed an additional challenge. To reduce engineering costs, Fluor worked with a New Zealand consulting firm to jointly develop the seismic design codes and to review and approve the structural drawings on behalf of the New Zealand authorities.


Fluor used recent experience on a similar methanol plant in Canada to reduce engineering costs on the project in New Zealand.

By using this approach, Fluor was able to reduce certain activities by about 40 percent.